Peru registers highest daily COVID-19 death toll

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Peru on Saturday reported a record daily 294 coronavirus deaths, the health ministry said, just over a week before millions of people are due to go out and vote for a new president and congress.

Unlike neighbor Chile, which had also been due to hold elections next Sunday but postponed them in the face of the health crisis, Peru's president has decided to push ahead.

The latest 24-hour toll exceeded the South American country's previous of 277 deaths in a day last August and brought total fatalities to 52,625, with more than 1.5 million recorded infections, ministry data showed.

More than 5,600 new daily cases were reported on Saturday as the continent battles a surge in infections fueled by new virus variants believed to be more contagious.

Peru had reported a record of nearly 13,000 new cases on Thursday as it entered a four-day national lockdown for the Easter weekend in a bid to limit new infections.

Over the last two months, the country of 33 million people has seen some 200 daily deaths due to the coronavirus.

Vaccination of health personnel, soldiers, police, firefighters and the elderly started in February.

© 2021 AFP

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